I am a practicing Christian who is very disturbed by what happened yesterday.
I only share this so that people know that not all Christians (or I hope even most Christians) agree with what happened yesterday (the irony is not lost on me that many of Jesus teachings occurred in Syria).
I do not claim to know the correct interpretation of the Bible, or to pretend that my “faith walk” is the same or accords with anyone else’s. This is only my statement of solidarity with the people around the world stuck in airports or turned away today.
Here are a few passages that I wanted to share after reading about the Vetting and Travel ban Executive Orders from the Gospel of Matthew:
From Matthew 5 (and I would suggest, has some parallels with Emma Lazarus’ poem at the base of the Statue Of Liberty):
13 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.
14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.
15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead, they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.
16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
Also From Matthew 5:
43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’
44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,
45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.
46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that?
47 And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that?
From Matthew 22:
34 Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together.
35 One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question:
36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
37 Jesus replied: “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’
38 This is the first and greatest commandment.
39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’
40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
From Matthew 25:
…“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.
42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink,
43I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’
44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’
45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’
There is no doubt that living this way has its dangers but throughout the Gospel’s Jesus asks us to sacrifice everything (from our material comfort to our safety) and practice radical hospitality.
I have lots of policy objections as well, but I wanted to declare my solidarity with the plight of refugees and travelers, from the perspective of a Christian in the USA. I hope everyone finds peace at the end of this tumultuous period in our nation and the world. One Human Family!
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